From Employee to Entrepreneur: How to Get Ready

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owner of a small business store showing her tasty cakes
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Do you long for more independence or wealth? Maybe you should start your own business.

A successful business can open up opportunities, options and freedom like very few jobs can offer. Starting a business will take time and require you to re-examine your priorities. The only thing we all have the same amount of is hours in the day. High-income business owners use their 24-hour allotment differently than employees.

Small businesses are a huge factor in the growth of the U.S. economy. True, the recession hit wannabe entrepreneurs hard. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, the rate of new start-ups went down 12 percent from 2007 to 2010.

Getting the Money

Most businesses are started with a large investment -- made with owner equity, borrowed funds or both -- in goods, space, equipment, labor, marketing and other factors.

When you think of borrowing money, banks of course come to mind. Find out what banks specialize in your type of business. Network with others in your industry and find out who is helping them with financing. To get a loan, be prepared with a business plan, personal financial statement, an explanation of your experience in this type of venture, additional collateral, relevant industry facts about growth rates and demand and other pertinent information.

Finance companies and venture capital firms might be a better fit. Be very wary of companies wanting large upfront fees to simply review your application. Files for many small business ventures can be reviewed and underwritten with very little upfront costs other than an appraisal.

The Unique Selling Proposition

The most important part of any business is getting many people interested in what you have to sell. One critical point is a "unique selling proposition" that can separate you from most of your alleged competition. Some famous examples are Domino's (DPZ) "Fresh, hot pizza delivered to your door in 30 minutes or less or it's free" and Subway's promotion of healthy subs with its Jared weight loss campaign.

A USP should quickly tell prospects what's in it for them, and it should be used in all of your marketing messages. The USP is not necessarily a slogan but could be a mission. One of mine is helping families all over the country create tax-free generational wealth. It is simple and to the point, and many prospects want to know more.

Potential Customers Are Online

Thanks to the Internet, you have a worldwide marketplace at your fingertips. But how do you get just a tiny fraction of the billions of people online to check you out and do business with you?

A website is an absolute to be taken seriously. A website needs to be "sticky" (meaning the content urges people to stick around) and should generate leads by giving away something of quality. All prospects need do is to give their name and email address to get this free item. Most of your leads are not ready to do business with you right away, but if cultivated inexpensively over time via email and occasional snail mail, they can be worth a fortune to your business.

Internet marketing can generate leads to a targeted group of people. Google (GOOG) AdWords and Facebook (FB) marketing can be quite successful for entrepreneurs who take the time to understand how they work.

To start a successful business, spend time researching with the U.S. Small Business Association and elsewhere. Spend money on business training. Make it a priority to make your dreams of business ownership and financial possibilities come true.

John Jamieson is the best-selling author of "The Perpetual Wealth System." Check out his Video of the Week.


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dopey.obamite

And after all of that, some will demand that you pay even those who might push a broom or clean toilets $15/hr .

July 08 2014 at 1:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
dopey.obamite

Sounds easy.

July 07 2014 at 4:03 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
alfredschrader

A good credit rating is critical. Pay everything on time. Always have enough in your accounts for contingencies. If you don't have the self discipline to control your credit card and other spending, you'll never make it in business because you'll buy solutions instead of working them out youself.

Starting with big lumps of money has nothing to do with success in business.
For example, Papa Johns pizza. He started with $250.00
Subway was an old stripmall unit with "Subs" painted in the window with house paint.
When colonel Sanders opened his first successful KFC the only advertising he had
was a big sign with his picture on the front of the place.
Word soon got out that he sold this amazing gravy (it wasn't the chicken that hit). In no time there was a line going around the building ( I was there in 1964 and saw this with my own eyes).

To be a success the key ingredient is hard work, not a gimmick. People will know where the good products and services are soon enough.

July 07 2014 at 2:08 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to alfredschrader's comment
mac2jr

One of the most difficult things for a new customer to do is to walk through that 'front' door into the unknown. Even if the place of business is in a high traffic area, that 'unknown' will prevent many from entering, thus the smart business owner leaves the door open during business hours, and has a Gimmick or Display that is Inviting.

Many to most small business startups are via the computer or in an out of traffic area such as an industrial park, and therefore it is imperitive that one has a Gimmick and Advertising as the potential clients has to 'go out of his or her way' to use the services.

July 07 2014 at 3:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mac2jr

The SBA and most Banks will NOT lend to a new start-up business, therefore most of the money has to come from self, parents and other relatives, and from selling off items you no longer need (do an inventory and see for yourself).. If you cannot get your parents or other relatives to 'invest' in your idea, you are in trouble as you will usually not get others to invest.

As for management training, 95% of all new businesses fail in the first one to two years due to poor management, and 95% of those that make it two years do fail in the first five years. Thus, if you do not have the experience or education, then find someone that does and surround yourself with these people.

As for advertising, even the best product or service will fail if NOT in front of the potential clients 24/7. And guess what, the advertising agencies know that you NEED them, and will charge accordingly, thus breaking most budgets almost immediately. But, once you do get up and running, do NOT stop advertising to save money, a mistake made by most management.

Also be careful of starting a new business using your past employer's methods, patents, and other technologies, you probably signed a 'Non-Disclosure' agreement and can be sued for using THEIR stuff.

Good Luck..

July 07 2014 at 10:25 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to mac2jr's comment
d.barack

STFUYFD.

July 07 2014 at 12:56 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply